Why risk it? Meticulous software testing can save the lives of medical device users

[Image by Pexels via Pixabay]

Jay Noble and Stephanie Van Ness, Integrated Computer Solutions

Software testing is not optional.

Let me repeat: Software testing is not optional!

Software defects are one of the most common reasons for clinical or consumer medical device recalls, and serious issues stemming from software errors abound. A 2020 study by the Australian government identified a rash of problems, such as errors related to resilience and reliability, including software that crashed, froze or functioned only intermittently — or failed to respond at all.

How do software errors present themselves in the real world? Here’s just one example of software gone wrong. In 2016, clinical software used widely by practitioners in the U.K.’s National Health Service had been miscalculating patients’ risk of heart attack, errors that had gone undetected since 2009. As a result, at least 300,000 hear…

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